Zebre or in English Zebras replaced Aironi Rugby in the Heineken Cup and the Rabodirect Pro12 for the 2012/13 season. Zebre are based in Parma and play their home games at the XXV Aprile Stadium which is currently being refurbished and expanded ready for the new season.
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The club was not a totally new team as they were originally founded in 1973 as an invitational club for north-western Italy. The new club, joins the other Italian representative Benetton Treviso in both competitions.
Zebre has been given much needed support from the FIR who appointed 53-year-old Roberto Manghi as Director of Rugby. Manghi, moved from Rugby Reggio, he has also been General Manager with Gran Parma and Rugby Parma, reaching the Eccellenza semi-finals with both clubs.
Zebre playing strength for the season 2012/13 comprised 29 Italians including Marco Bortolami and 12 other capped players with the overseas players being; Dries van Schalkwyk a South African No.8, Luciano Leibson an Argentinian Prop and Dave Ryan a USA Prop. This squad and the club in general will struggle to progress in either the Cup or League.